My last day at @DiabetesHF #memories

January 15, 2015, I shared the news about my stepping down from my role as President of the Diabetes Hands Foundation after having co-founded the organization back in 2008 with my wife, and having shared with my friends and colleagues some amazing times working towards a world where people touched by diabetes do not feel alone.

Since January, I have focused my time on two main things at DHF: (1) working with Melissa Lee, DHF’s new Interim Executive Director, to ensure a smooth hand-off (something I am happy to report, has been extremely successful)…

and (2) supporting the team led by our Head of Communities, Emily Coles, to bring TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes from Ning to Discourse, their new 2015 home. TuDiabetes has been migrated (though the team will continue to work, to smooth out the member experience over the course of the coming days and weeks), and EsTudiabetes will soon be migrated.

After seven years on the DHF journey (and eight since we first started TuDiabetes), today I can’t help but think back through some of the memories…

We’ve traveled places together…

Here’s our very first diabetes awareness campaign in 2007, “Word In Your Hand
(Not sure if you know that this is what brought the “Hands” part into the Diabetes Hands Foundation Name)

Here’s the Big Blue Test video we did with music from Capital Cities (before they were BIG!)

Bringing more voices of people with diabetes to FDA and to Congress…

Celebrating awards we received…

Making and keeping great friends…

Having silly moments…

And sad moments…

I am not going too far. Love you, guys!

DHF_Team_April2015

My mother’s #Alzheimers

Back in February 2015, a friend of mine in NY inspired me to blog about my experience with my mother’s Alzheimer’s Disease. So far, I had only blogged once about her condition since her diagnosis in 2001, three years ago, and tweeted about it here and there, during particularly difficult times.

My mother has Alzheimer’s Disease
She was “diagnosed” in 2011. Back in 2011, she was 81. Now she is 85, and you can guess: things haven’t gotten better.

She used to be a very go-getter type person, very independent. One day I dropped her off in church (she used to drive back then, but she wanted me to drive her). I told her I’d wait for her outside in one hour. An hour went by, and she wouldn’t come out… nearly 20 minutes after the hour, she called me from her apartment.

She had gotten a ride home with a fellow parishioner… she had all forgotten that I was going to pick her up. This event, combined with a couple of instances of her getting lost in the Berkeley traffic (those of you who’ve lived here know this to be a joke!) raised a red flag.

We brought her to a geriatric specialist who confirmed the “diagnosis”. I use double-quotes because, unlike things like diabetes, where you can test your fasting blood sugar and establishing nearly without doubt if someone has the condition or not, with Alzheimer’s, it is trickier. As the Alzheimer’s Association would say:

There is no single test that can show whether a person has Alzheimer’s.

Of the 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s, back in 2011 my mom had 6. She now has 7.

In the coming months and years (however long she has left with us), I will share bits and pieces of my mom’s Alzheimer’s story, using the alzheimers tag in this blog.

For now, I leave you with a photo of her and her grandson (my son) that I took today.

Mama_mar_26_2015

A letter to the TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes community

Earlier today, we shared this news on TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes…

linkedin

HOLA!

I hope you had a restful holiday in the company of your loved ones.

As 2015 kicks in, I have some important news to share about Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF) and me.

Thursday, April 30 will be my last day as part of the staff at DHF, the nonprofit that since 2008 has been behind TuDiabetes, EsTuDiabetes, the Big Blue Test, and in recent years, the Diabetes Advocates program.

I am very excited to announce that Melissa Lee is coming on as Interim Executive Director effective today, January 15, 2015. As you may know, Melissa has deep history with DHF. She was one of the first administrators of TuDiabetes and became our first Lead Administrator, as well. She joined the Board of Directors in 2012 and has served as Secretary to the Board for the past two years. In addition, Melissa is on the steering committee of Diabetes Advocates. You may also know her from her contributions to A Sweet Life, where she is the Tech Editor, and her own blog, Sweetly Voiced.

As she takes on this role, I will continue at DHF, supporting her transition and having an active role in the project to migrate our online communities. As Melissa and I navigate this transition for the organization, the Board has started the search process for a permanent Executive Director.

As the co-founder of the organization, this was not an easy decision for me to make, but it is the right moment for it as I plan for my family’s future. I am confident that DHF has the leadership at the staff and board levels to manage these changes successfully. I want to thank them ALL for their unconditional and humbling support throughout this process!

After I step down, I won’t become a stranger to DHF or to diabetes. I anticipate that I will always have a relationship with DHF. In fact, I look forward to serving as an advisor to the organization, and in any other capacity that I can be of value to DHF. I am also truly excited about the prospect of getting involved in diabetes and pre-diabetes in additional ways. I will be posting about my next steps on social media soon.

This is a change for me, but DHF remains committed to continue to deliver on its mission. We all count on your support and partnership in 2015 and beyond to positively impact the lives of millions of people touched by diabetes.

Let me know if you have any questions. You can also read the announcement we published on the DHF web site.

Your friend in diabetes,